Fame is often due to an accident or some unforeseen circumstance and that is
how the building of an ice house led to the development of the world famous
"Saegertown Inn" and "Saegertown Ginger Ale".
In 1882, Charles Benner and his two sons, built a large ice house on the east
bank of French Creek, just north of the mill race. In connection with this
enterprise they drove a well in January, 1883. The water which sprang from
this well had a peculiar taste and an effervescent appearance. Suspecting this
water had unusual properties, they had it analyzed at Allegheny College in 1884
and found that it was high in mineral content of various kinds, many of which
were the accepted medicinal ingredients of that day.
This spring soon became widely known and people in came in great numbers
from the surrounding vicinity to take advantage of its beneficial qualities.
Realizing the commercial value of the spring, the Benners built a bath and
spring house and started bottling and carbonizing the water to make it more
palatable and sanitary. This necessitated the erection of a bottling plant known
as Eureka Springs, which was the beginning of the Saegertown Ginger Ale
In 1892, the Moses Brothers of Cleveland, Ohio, acquired ownership and built
the first actual soft drink factory on the shores of French Creek using the water
of the De Profundis Spring, which was the deepest of the Eureka Springs.
Ownership passed through many hands and a corporation named Saegertown
Ginger Ale Company engaged in the manufacture of Saegertown Ginger Ale as
well as all other types of soft drinks, in a bottling plant on Grant Street in
Saegertown which was constructed in 1920 on the site of the new De Profundis
spring which was drilled in 1919.
In 1905, at the World's Fair in Paris, France, the "Grand Prix" was awarded to
the Saegertown Mineral Springs Company for the manufacturing of the best soft
drink of that day. By the mid 1920's the name Saegertown Ginger Ale was
known not only from coast to coast, but all over the world. The public knew
that each beverage bottle bearing the emblem of the cavalier, and the registered
trade mark "The Aristocrat", was worthy of the title, SAEGERTOWN THE
ARISTOCRAT OF GINGER ALES.
It was always felt that along with the delicious recipes for the various soft drink
flavors, the other key ingredient was the natural spring water that flowed
beneath the plant and was used to make all the beverages.
In time, all good things must end, as was true concerning the small town soft
drink bottler. Even with all of their success demise came with the rise of certain
national brand name companies. However, unlike many other soft drink plants,
Saegertown Beverages had a great spring source. In the 1970's, ownership had
the foresight to see a future in bottled water, and made the decision to start
bottling the famous water in a 5 gallon returnable bottle and the 1 gallon jug for
store demand. In the early 1990's our distilled water was introduced. During
this time period the demand of the consumers was for a single serve product.
This new segment helped sky rocket bottled water sales into one of the three top
beverages sold in North America. Today we bottle our spring water and distilled
water in many different sizes including: 5 gallon returnable, 4 gallon, 2.5 gallon,
1 gallon, 1.5 liter, 1 liter, 24 ounce, 20 ounce, 16.9 ounce, 12 ounce, and 8 ounce
The evolution continues and in the past decade, the demand for private label
has blasted into this business. Most, if not all, wholesale chains want their own
label put on the bottled water products dominating their shelf space.
Saegertown Beverages has done well in this area by putting our water into
various sized bottles under different company labels. We are bottling our great
tasting water under many different names from national companies to regional
ones. This currently allows the Eureka Springs "taste" to be found in over
twenty-four states under our customers private labels and our own Eureka
It has been a long history for Saegertown Beverages and Eureka Springs water,
but as we continue to evolve, so does our history.
|The History and Growth of